Tag: Hurricane Katrina

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The experts were all warning of catastrophic winds and historic storm surges, massive piles of fast moving water, that would sweep away and drown what the wind did not destroy. The morning light revealed the extensive wreckage wrought by winds approaching 150 mph as Hurricane Laura came ashore. By afternoon, there was cautious relief. The […]

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The Schoolbuses of Katrina

 

While we are still chattering about Hurricane Harvey and keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma, I saw a couple of comments that are worth a follow-up post of its own.

You all remember how we watched the flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and how we all saw the fleet of schoolbuses that were inundated instead of serving to evacuate the City. Evidently, those pictures were very memorable, but not nearly as memorable as the actual narrative of events. There is plenty to fault the City of New Orleans for, and especially there fault to be laid at the feet of Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco, but I do not fault them for the schoolbuses.

Evacuating a big city is a huge problem. Especially so for New Orleans, since there are not many highway evacuation routes available. The likelihood is that an evacuation would cause lots of traffic crash deaths and lead to a politician becoming a laughingstock if the hurricane does not turn out to be so damaging as the weather forecasters had made it out to be. Everyone over 50 on the coast remembers occasions when they were told to evacuate, decided not to, and then experienced a bad storm that had not warranted evacuation.

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On Wednesday, February 15, Hollywood superproducer-slash-director-slash-writer-slash-host of superexclusive fundraisers for Our Former Glorious Sun King Barry I Ryan Murphy announced that the theme of the next season of his popular anthology series American Horror Story would be… the last presidential election. So the show that has seen people terrorized by ghosts, demons, ex-Nazi doctors, aliens, witches, voodoo […]

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Katrina Experiences, Part V: Guns Guns Everywhere and Heading Home

 

DSC028951[Editor’s Note: This is the fifth and final part in the author’s series describing his experiences volunteering on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago last week. Catch-up with the other parts hereherehere, and here].

Looking back, my experiences on the Gulf Coast affirmed many of my conservative beliefs. Things like personal responsibility, the value of the individual, and the effectiveness and efficiency of private organizations and volunteer groups compared to the federal government. FEMA has taken a lot of criticism — some of it is well deserved — but it’s not realistic to expect a huge bureaucracy with its layers of rules and accompanying paperwork to respond quickly to anything. In contrast, volunteer groups can specialize in specific area of disaster relief and work together to minimize overlap and increase efficiency. The Red Cross focuses on shelters and hot meals. ACTS World Relief can provide aid at the disaster site itself. Different church denominations concentrate on specific areas such as collecting supplies, distributing supplies, providing medical assistance, housing, etc. Moreover, volunteers come-in from all over the country. We literally had people from the Florida Keys all the way to Alaska.

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Katrina Experiences, Part IV: An Angel Named Renee and the Chinese Tents

 

DSC01848[Editor’s Note: This is the fourth part in the author’s series describing his experiences volunteering on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago this week. Catch-up with the other parts here, here, and here].

In addition to the chaos of the relief station, we needed to get out into the community and help. The problem was time: no matter how hard we worked, there was only so much daylight and we were already pushing the envelope. That’s when God stepped in and sent an angel named Renee and her crew. They had come down from the Atlanta area and set up next to our lot in a camper. Her priority was bringing relief to people that couldn’t get to us. The reason I call her an angel is because that is exactly how so many of the people she helped — many of whom had lost everything — saw her. In short time, and with the help of her small crew, we developed a tremendous partnership.

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Katrina Experiences, Part III: Journey to the Coast and From Kansas, With Love

 

[Editor’s Note: This is the third part in Concretevol’s series describing his experiences volunteering on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago this week. Catch-up with the other parts here and here].

To give volunteers a break from the blistering heat — and because they were dying to see something other than that parking lot — we started taking groups to the coast to see for themselves what a 20′ wall of water leaves behind. Now, I will try to tell you, or show you, as best I can. Though I’ve never seen a bomb-blasted landscape before in person, I’ve seen pictures and that was really the only way to describe the first quarter mile inland. There was very little left of the houses other than bare concrete slabs… maybe a mailbox, or a post here or there. There wasn’t much debris there, either: most of it sitting on top of other destroyed houses further inland. It was also very quiet, with only the occasional sound of a helicopter flying overhead or a motor grader clearing sand from Beach Boulevard. There was very little talking in the truck on these outings. Just shocked silence.

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Notice how the telephone poles all slanted inland.